Chapter 245 Cluster Compounds of Rare-Earth Elements

Z. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Abstract: Polynuclear complexes of rare-earth elements characterized by their well-defined, cluster-like core structures are a class of interesting compounds with pleasing molecular structures and potential useful applications. Their synthetic and structural chemistry has been developed rapidly in the last two decades, and a review of this subject is therefore timely. Presented in this chapter are the large number of cluster compounds of rare-earth elements appeared in the literature up to 2008. The discussion of this vast number of cluster species is organized according to the distinct synthetic methods by which they are produced, that is, those obtained under conditions typical of organometallic synthesis and those by deliberate hydrolysis of mononuclear or lower-nuclearity precursors. The common driving force behind the assembly of these cluster species is the inherent tendency of the bulky metal atoms to satisfy their coordination number requirements. The clustering of the individual metal atoms is facilitated by the use of multidentate chelating and bridging ligands, mostly oxygen-based due to the oxophilicity of these unique metal elements. Other heteroatoms, including N, chalcogens, halogens, and H are also frequently found in the coordination sphere, generally in the form of small-unit ligands. With the unabated enthusiasm and efforts from researchers over the world, this cluster chemistry of rare-earth elements has now been developed into a unique research area, and a number of important applications (chemical, biomedical, and materials) have either been realized or envisioned. It is reasonable to predict that activities in this particular direction of chemical research will continue to grow with a high possibility of finding many new species with pleasing structures and useful applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-239
Number of pages131
JournalHandbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2010


  • Alkoxides
  • Chalcogenides
  • Clusters
  • Hydrides
  • Hydroxides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Chapter 245 Cluster Compounds of Rare-Earth Elements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this